Poor Roads

 

VICROADS are ‘talking’ with local communities as to how roads can be planned better, built and managed better over the 19,000 kms of country arterial roads.

While the ‘consultation’ is in place, Vicroads have not advertised the process and there are fears that urgent works in the Wimmera will not be undertaken, using a lack of discussion and disinterest by the community as an excuse to put aside the work needed.

Warracknabeal/Brim VFF Branch President, David Drage, said that residents need to use the website and attend Vicroads community meetings to put their concerns
forward.

“We, as a community, need to take the opportunity to voice our concerns and put forward our thoughts on the work that is needed in the Wimmera,” Mr Drage said.

Right through the region there are sections of roads with cautionary 80km zones, which Vicroads are using as a means to avoid completing the urgently needed work.

“Near Birchip is a stretch of road with 14 sections marked with the 80km cautionary signs in a two kilometre stretch,” said Mr Drage.

The VFF is seeking to get a commitment from the state government and Vicroads that work will be completed on all the areas marked with these cautionary signs in a ?nite period of time.

“It’s really not good enough to deal with a dangerous section of road by whacking up a sign and walking away saying they’ve dealt with it,” Mr Marshall Rodda, a member of the VFF said.

“Further leaving these sections of road without maintenance and deteriorating further and believing putting up 80km signs recti?es the problem is Vicroads dreaming,” he said.

“It’s a relatively short-term solution to a long-term endemic problem that the government and Vicroads appear to be wiping their hands of,” Mr Rodda said.

The website shows only one proposed ‘key’ work site in the Wimmera-Southern Mallee region, that being a stretch of highway between Kaniva and the South Australian border.

This is not nearly enough earmarked work according to the VFF.

“The community needs to use the website to target roads they believe need immediate work completed on them,” Mr Drage said.

The website is interactive, and people have the ability to ‘stick a pin in the map’ and start a discussion thread.

“We urge the community to add to discussion already in place in addition to pinpointing roads that need work,” Mr Drage said.

Vicroads are conducting meetings alongside the ‘discussion board’ on their website. As yet there is no de?nitive date set aside for the Wimmera, but is tentatively scheduled for July. Vicroads have stated on their website they will be meeting with local councils, industry representatives, tourism operators and key community groups during this time. This has yet to be con?rmed.

The VFF is urging people to take the opportunity to put their opinions across to Vicroads on priorities, road safety, road maintenance and the future of the road network in the Wimmera.
“If we don’t make the effort, we will not get the work done that is so urgently needed,” Mr Drage said.

The Vicroads website can be accessed via https://engage.vicroads.vic.gov.au/countryroads?fb_page_type=project.